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brh15.mulligan.getaway.kleckTrainer Teddy Mulligan marked his return to the racecourse with a win in the first race. / Nancy Kleck photoThe sixty-sixth running of the Blue Ridge Hunt Point-to-Point Races were held at Woodley Farm on Sunday, March 22, 2015. This was the second year in a row that the Blue Ridge race meet had to be postponed due to the weather.

Trainer Teddy Mulligan returned to the racecourse after a year’s absence, saddling his first horse for the first race since his leave-taking and scoring his first win. Bedizen and Zol Zayne, the one-two horses, pulled away from the field of four in the Maiden Hurdle Race with less than a quarter mile to run. Turning for home, Bedizen with Jeff Murphy up took the lead and drew away for a convincing win.

In the remaining two hurdle races—Amateur/Novice Rider and Open Races—trainer Jimmy Day and his rider Brendan Brooks dominated the Winner’s Circle with Controlled Neglect, owned by Ann Braxton Jones-Lynch, and Manacor, owned by a Daybreak Stables syndicate.

brh15.bedizen.kleckBedizen jumps cleanly under rider Jeff Murphy; wins Maiden Hurdle for trainer Teddy Mulligan. / Nancy Kleck photo

brh15.manacor.kleckManacor, a big horse in Jimmy Day's stable, wins Open Hurdle. / Nancy Kleck photoManacor tied with six other horses for the Leading Hurdle Horse title in Virginia last year and with thirteen other horses for Leading Horse Over Fences. The Irish-bred bay gelding has been a strong starter for Jimmy Day, winning a $65,000 allowance hurdle at Saratoga last August just after a solid win on the flat at Belmont Park in a $50,000 claimer.

In the Novice Rider Flat Race, Erin Swope’s Slaney Rock repeated his winning ways at Warrenton the week before with another commanding performance. Exploding away from the field of five with still a mile and a quarter to run, Swope caused a few heads to shake at her early burst, but this young jockey knows her horse and took him flying to the wire uncontested.

brh15.slaney rock.kleck Erin Swope's Slaney Rock, first; the rest of the 5-horse field, nowhere. / Nancy Kleck photo

The final race—Virginia-Bred/Sired Maiden Flat—produced the most exciting finish of all the six races on the shortened card. Objet D-Art (trained and ridden by Liam McVicar) hooked up in a ferocious battle to the wire with Dance With Vanison (Brendan Brooks up), Objet D’Art winning by barely a head. The winner was bred by Bill Backer in The Plains. The runner-up, Dance With Vanison, is owned by Clarke County breeder Robin Richards’ and trained by Jimmy Day.

Click for complete results.

Posted March 27, 2015

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